Hobby Lobby sells a set of crochet hook pads that will fit the standard and steel crochet hook sizes (not the excessively large ones) and they really help me. I find that the hooks slip around in my hand, so I hold really tight, which hurts after a while. These are textured, so the hook doesn't slip, so I don't have to hold so tight, especially on the little bitty hooks. They come in a set, to fit a variety of sizes, and I have them on all my hooks. Also, it takes practice... crochet uses different muscles than knitting, or spinning, or sewing, so you have to keep it up. Just do a little at a time, and eventually the soreness will go away!
Don't let fear and common sense stand in your way!